Research Topic

Best Practice in Clinical Research on Complex Mixtures

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About this Research Topic

Complex mixtures, like multiherbal preparations commonly found in Chinese Herbal Medicine, have been widely used in clinical practice worldwide. Although contemporary medicine has made great achievements, for quite a few chronic, non-infectious conditions, there are no generally accepted and effective ...

Complex mixtures, like multiherbal preparations commonly found in Chinese Herbal Medicine, have been widely used in clinical practice worldwide. Although contemporary medicine has made great achievements, for quite a few chronic, non-infectious conditions, there are no generally accepted and effective treatments esp. on prevention and treatment for diseases including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, various skin conditions, and psychosomatic disease. There are many effective ingredients in complex mixtures with different pharmacological properties that will act on multiple pharmacological targets. In the last decades, many complex mixtures have been approved in mainland China as patent herbal medicine by the Chinese Food and Drug Administration (CFDA). An increasing number of studies on complex mixtures have emerged in leading international English-language journals. However, it is still a great challenge to evaluate the efficacy and safety of complex mixtures using state-of-the-art approaches. A key challenge remains the chemical complexity and variability of such preparations and how this impacts on clinical (and pharmacological) research.

This Research Topic aims to collect up-to-date evidence for the use of complex mixtures in clinical practice in the context of prevention and treatment of diseases and to provide new insights into their efficacy and safety. Such studies must make a contribution to improving the best practice in this field and contribute to a critical debate about how to achieve this.

We welcome studies on the following aspects, but not limited to:
(1) Evaluating the clinical effects of complex mixtures, with randomized controlled clinical trials or systematic reviews.
(2) Investigating the side effects of complex mixtures in clinical trials or data mining from an authoritative clinical database.
(3) Studying possible mechanisms of complex mixtures in clinical or preclinical studies.
(4) Developing strategies for integrating detailed chemical characterizations into the design of such studies.

All studies must pay particular attention to the challenges posed by the chemical complexity and variability of these preparations.

We encourage the submission of high-quality Original Research, Review, Perspective, and General Commentary articles which focus on the efficacy and safety of the complex mixtures, most notably clinical studies of herbal medicines.

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One can find more information about the Article Types guidelines in the Ethnopharmacology section here).

All the manuscripts submitted to this project will be peer-reviewed and need to fully comply with the Four Pillars of Best Practice in Ethnopharmacology (you can freely download the full version here).


Keywords: Complex mixtures, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Clinical Research, Safety, Effects


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